Let’s Count Together, Oklahoma! Census 2020 is underway

In honor of the 2020 Census, Together Oklahoma is hosting a Virtual Census Launch Party on Friday, April 3. The day kicks off with a Virtual Coffee with community partners at 10 a.m. hosted by Jasha Lyons Echo-Hawk, Census Community Builder with Together Oklahoma. Other programming during the day includes a Zumba hour with Tashia Cheves at 5 p.m. and a combo Live Art/DJ Set with Emcee One and Pawnee/Yakama artist Bunky Echo-Hawk at 6 p.m.

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. The Census is held every 10 years as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The official Census Day was April 1, but the Census can be completed online, by phone or by mail at any time during the next few weeks. Census field workers are expected to be following up with those households who have not responded through the end of summer.

Together Oklahoma, which is the advocacy program for the Oklahoma Policy Institute, moved its activities to the virtual space due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Look for other activities coming in the future.

Our group became involved with the 2020 Census because it so vitally important to our communities and state. This confidential survey determines how to distribute an annual amount of more than $800 billion in federal funds to local, state, and tribal governments.Information gathered during the Census makes an impact to the everyday lives of all Oklahoma residents. Policy makers, researchers, community organizations, city planners, businesses, analysts, and marketers are among many who utilize this data to determine decisions about development of social service programs and community action projects. Estimates show that each person not counted in the census costs the state about $1,800 per year in lost federal funding. This has severe consequences for children who are the most undercounted group in the census as each young child missed in the 2020 census will be in middle or high school by the time that mistake can be corrected in 2030.

To learn about upcoming events, sign up here to receive e-mail updates or follow Together Oklahoma on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about this event, contact Kyle Lawson at klawson@togetherok.org or Jasha Lyons Echo-Hawk at jlecho-hawk@okpolicy.org.

Published by jasha

Jasha Lyons Echo-Hawk is a life-long Oklahoman and proud tribal citizen of the Seminole Nation, as well as a member of the Pawnee, Iowa, Omaha, and Creek Nations. She is a dedicated community builder and has organized in rural Oklahoma on such issues as access to healthcare, violence against women, gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, food/seed sovereignty, breast/chestfeeding advocacy, equity in leadership and as a former political candidate. She is also a graduate of Northern Oklahoma College and Oklahoma State University. She is one of the founders of Native Breastfeeding Week and is one of the inaugural NDN Collective NDN Changemaker Fellows. She has received honors from the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women Mary Townsend Crow Service Award, The Journal Record’s Achievers Under 40 Award, and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 40 Under 40 Award. Jasha continues to serve in volunteer capacities as a Community Doula/Birthworker, a board member with Pawnee Community Tribal Charter School, with the Pawnee Seed Preservation Project, with the Native Federation of Oklahoma Democrats, and as a youth coach. She resides in Pawnee with her husband, Bunky, and their four children. She joins OK Policy as the Census Community Builder.